Friday, September 13, 2013

Richard Allen Morris at R.B. Stephenson and Gregory Conniff at Joseph Bellows Gallery,

 By Cathy Breslaw

  Quick Draw Exhibition

Richard Allen Morris, A Painter's Painter - 'Quick Draw' PREVIEW of Morris's show opening Sept 14,R.B. Stevenson Gallery, La Jolla

The Muse, 2013, ink on paper, 11" x 8 1/2"
Over 240 small jewels grace the walls of R.B. Stevenson Gallery – hung salon style. Richard Allen Morris, often referred to as a ‘painter’s painter, has lived and worked in San Diego since 1956. At age 80, Morris’s work continues to gain momentum and the recognition it deserves. His paintings, mixed media assemblages and portraits are in museum and private collections in the U.S. and abroad.  “Quick Draw” is a collection of works, most of which are smaller than 8 ½ x 11inches.  The artist selected the frames, each unique and distinctive with it’s own character, melding nicely with each art piece.  Consistent with his abstract expressionistic style, many of the works are fresh, spontaneous and gestural in their creation.  Works made from collage, ink, graphite, and paint are masterfully executed – showing the span of Morris’s oeuvre.  Often bold and playful, these tiny gems appear as snippets - observations and impressions Morris has of the world around him. Also present in these pieces is his experimental spirit and continuing curiosity about drawing and painting. Though this exhibition doesn’t cover the scale, dimensionality or depth of Morris’s many bodies of work, it is a thoughtful insight into this dedicated and accomplished artist and perhaps an introduction for those not familiar with his art.


Photographer Gregory Conniff's First West Coast Exhibition, Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, CA

Gregory Conniff wants us to notice the ordinary details of our visual world, especially houses, buildings and our surrounding landscape.  His 37 vintage gelatin silver prints, measuring 16” x 20” are black and white and cover the years 1979-1982. Some of the photos in this exhibition have never been shown.  Taken in Wisconsin, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington D.C., these images and others were featured in Conniff’s first book “Common Ground” which the scholar John A. Kouwenhoven called “a major event in the history of photography”. Conniff’s everyday landscapes depict domestic architecture – houses, and the fences, gardens and land adjoining these homes.  These seemingly straightforward photographs, once studied, reveal a beautiful geometry within our ordinary surroundings.  The images emphasize spatial relationships and depth and call attention to the repetition of detailed shapes, shadows, and the juxtaposition of organic and built forms. Conniff wants us to notice what is common, but often invisible – the space around homes and vegetation, the shadows that trees cast on buildings and porches, the repetition of the slats on roofs and its relationship to the slats on buildings, steps and picket fences. His images are of a quiet and mostly organized world void of people but filled with the relationships of our personal landscapes. Exhibition runs through October 26th, Joseph Bellows Gallery.
Madison, WI, 1979, vintage gelatin silver print  16" x 20"

Cathy Breslaw is a southern California visual artist, writer and lecturer who has had over 25 solo exhibitions, and 50 group exhibitions across the country at museums, art centers, college and university galleries and commercial galleries. Her work can be found in many private and corporate collections. Her work and writing can be seen at:

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